159: Wordsworth 'The Prelude'

I have the habit on a Saturday afternoon to pour myself a bourbon, strike a match to light a pipe of Latakia tobacco and to thus apply myself to the study of whatever enthusiasm has taken me for the moment.  In the instant most recent, I happened to read a choice selection from Wordsworth, which I will hence share my thoughts upon  and a small selection thereof.  

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158: meditation notes - three books

I recently rummaged through my bookshelf and came up with three books that turns out give a really nice sequence.  

Opening the Door to Bon by Nyima Dakota (an overview of the foundational practices for Bon Tibetan Buddhism)
The Awakened One A life of the Buddha by Sherab Chodzin Kohn ( a wonderfully clear representation of the life and awakening of Gautama Buddha)
What makes you 'not' a Buddhist  a really serious exploration of the core realization of emptiness.  

I hope these books and this podcast help in your practice. 

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156: creative blocks and creative space

What are your experiences with 'writers block'?  When I find myself not writing, it is rarely when I'm looking at a blank piece of paper.  What gets written may end up discarded,  set aside into the archeological pile of draft notes, or re-used in a different context.  No, when I am not writing it is when I don't even sit down .  The space is there.  

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155: meditation notes - ZenGlop and the Miletian Archae

I've been criticized for using the term ZenGlop - -that this silly word trivializes the substance and structure of my work.  Fair enough, perhaps it does.  But ....  Reading about pre-socratic philosophers and their focus on the question of why something exists.  And if it exists, what did it come from . (The Miletians, Thale Anaximander and Anaximenes) .  The fragments that we have from 6th century Miletus suggests a lively discussion about whether there is a determinate single substance ( one of the elements) that serves as the source of all being.  or whether there's some indeterminate substance filling that same purpose.  It's a question that has driven most of philosophy for close enough to 3000 years.  Somewhere in there is ZenGlop.   

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154: notes on new composition

Thoughts on recently finished composition for piano and electronics.  Also a consideration of what it feels like inside an MRI, and whether that's sufficient aesthetic inspiration (give away the answer: "it is").

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153: meditation notes - simplicity of available wisdom

We bring to each moment a set of insights, capabilities, strengths ( weaknesses) - - and even as this accumulated wisdom may be obscured by afflictive emotions, it is entirely sufficient to embrace a wise and compassionate reaction. 

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152: music is distillation and distiller

If music is a still, then I am a fermented mash ready to be evaporated and precipitated out as an alchemical spirit.

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151: What would be my last meal?

Thinking more about Socrates and his final day described in Phaedo, I asked myself what my final meal would be.  Turns out....Mahler and sparkling water.  

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150: Socrates massaged his feet

On the morning of the day when he would be executed, Socrates woke from a good night's sleep; massaged his feet; slowly placed his feet on the ground; and then spoke for the day about a good life.  And you know what, I get that.  If I knew I was to die tomorrow at sunset, I'd want to wake up well-rested, clear-headed and with the aches and pains massaged out.  

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149: meditation notes - moments of Wonder

Kathryn (otherwise known as Mrs. ZenGlop) is taking a course online with Pema Chodron,  We were talking at dinner last night and one of the things she said that resonated was the gift of wonder.  That as we pay attention and practice, there's a real amazement that this moment is happening.  At all!  I know I get stuck sometimes in pushing to 'understand' the way my mind is working or the way to fit this realization or that understanding into some framework.  But before all of that is this glorious beautiful breath, and a body pumping with Oxygen and air flowing over the whole freaking planet...wow!

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